Microwave Fireworks?

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Bangbang

Executive Chef
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Messages
3,150
Location
USA,Michigan
Sometimes I will be melting butter in the microwave and it starts sparking and flashin...Whats up with that?
 

Barbara L

Traveling Welcome Wagon
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
15,716
Location
Somewhere, US
I've heard my butter start to crackle as it melts, but I've never had it arc. I looked around and couldn't find anything specifically related to that, but at SharpUSA.com it said that food residue can cause arcing. Possibly your butter splattered and caused this, or there was some other residue that caused it when you melted your butter?

:) Barbara
 

Psiguyy

Sous Chef
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
843
Arcing in microwave ovens is caused by metal. If there is no metal, there is nothing to arc.

If you see arcing in a food item, there has to be metal in that item.

Could the container that you're melting the butter in contain some metal? Gold or silver foil? Metallic paint? Could the arcing you're seeing actually be coming from something other than the butter?

Sputtering is another matter. Can be caused by pockets of superheated oil, water, etc.
 

scott123

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
Messages
403
Location
USA,NewJersey
Microwaves don't like very small amounts of food. If you're going to melt a small amount of butter, fill a bowl with water and run it with it. It won't sputter or arc.

Btw, 'low' on a microwave oven doesn't mean less heat/energy. Microwaves are only an on/off thing. Low just means that the microwave cycles on for a few seconds and then off for a few seconds. For those few seconds it is on, the butter can spurt just like on the high setting.
 

Alix

Everymom
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
May 10, 2002
Messages
23,275
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Bang, you might have had a teeny piece of the foil left in the butter. I have done that. Scared the beejeebees out of me.
 

Sue Lau

Senior Cook
Joined
Jan 9, 2004
Messages
161
Location
USA,Ohio
I was heating some canned green beans in the microwave once and saw them spark.
I threw them away. :shock:
I called the 800 number on the can and asked why they did that and they had no clue.
*shrug*
 
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